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The Rock-itt : March 2012
starting from places like Akuna Bay and Apple Tree Bay. Jim Fairley from Bayview recalls that the group started about 20 years ago when two paddlers emailed each other to arrange a paddle. “My wife Edna and I had kayaks and we saw them from our hom e which overlooks where they were launching one day in 1994. W e went down to see them and they said ‘Come and join us’. W e did and we’ve been members ever since. “We’re a very mixed group and we have lots of interesting paddles. The beauty of the group is that it’s self- controlling, a wonderful crowd and not stressful. If newcomers don’t fit in they don’t stay or they change to fit in.” Carol Glasson from Castle Cove said the social group has grown and grown and evolved into friendships. She particularly looks forward to group weekends away, usually staying at caravan parks, at places like the Shoalhaven and Myall Lakes – “we cook up a storm”. What Diane Russell of Castle Cove likes about the group is that they come from all walks of life and there is always something interesting to talk about while paddling. Eva Tatrai of Baulkham Hills, who has been taking part in the Sunday paddles for a year and a half, also likes being with “a very nice group of people, not at all competitive”, and looks forward to getting out on the water and to the exercise. “I come for the lamingtons, you can write that,” said regular Herb Curtis, of Castle Hill. It’s true, he does like the lamingtons, but he and wife Lyn are paddlers from way back and they embody the true spirit of the group. Another who doesn’t miss too many Sundays is Mark Osborne, who leaves before dawn for a 2-hour drive down from Newcastle. W hy come all this way? “After knocking around with several groups I came to realise that some are special,” he said. “They are mostly working class people. I also like the history and scenery of Sydney and I especially like the breaks we have for coffee, and lunch later at a restaurant.” Ray Kidd an elder in the group Mark Osbor ne drives down from Newcastle Paddling break for a coffee on Cockatoo Island Parramatta River wit h Balmain in the background